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Mise en scene Analysis of Slumdog Millionaire

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jerri howlett

on 11 May 2012

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Transcript of Mise en scene Analysis of Slumdog Millionaire

17:11-19.52 Within the scene time plays a crucial role in the understanding of why Jamal is in his current situation.
The entire scene centers Jamal’s childhood; and a particular incident which enabled him in answering a question in his game on Who wants to be a millionaire?
The flashback of the past shows the contrast between Jamal as a child and the man he is today. It is visually clear how time has changed by the quality of Jamal’s appearance; as a child he is show in rugged clothes, covered in dirt with messy hair with the end of the flashback showing the present Jamal to be wearing normal clean clothes, with his hair tidy.
The flashback in time gives a connection between the audience and Jamal’s character as they are able to see what life was like growing up for Jamal. The heat of the summer in India is conveyed as Jamal and his friends play in the water of the slums, whilst shots of clothes belonging to residents of the slums dry on the train tracks under the rays of the sun.
The use of slow motion in time, allows the audience to connect with the emotion being portrayed on screen; An example showed in this particular scene is Jamal witnessing his mother being struck to death. This use of slow motion is used to hit hard with the audience, giving time for the trauma of the story to fully sink in. Sound Opening the scene is sounds of general hustle and bustle in the slums; talking, laughing, water splashing from women doing laundry and split seconds of trains on their travel. Using general sounds creates a relaxed atmosphere, the audience are shown the average day in the slums and are unaware of the disruption that is about to occur.
The scene begins with a group of men invading the slums, with weapons in hand ready to attack, as they run towards the brothers. No sound is used during the shot creating a tense atmosphere, by using silence showing the boys reactions to the men running towards them allows the full attention of the audience to be focused on their expressions. The sudden realisation of the attack from the boys is brought back using sound.
In order to dramatise the action on screen sounds of baby’s crying and screams are played in the background throughout, this adds to the distress that is taking place in the community. Deep breaths and pants from the brothers as they run to safety are also heightened creating a dramatic effect.
Disturbing sounds which take place throughout the scene are sounds such as various dead body’s hitting the ground; These thumps are loud and give focus to the large number of people who are being murdered. By hearing the falls as well as seeing them creates more of an impact for the viewer. Colour/Lighting From analysing Slumdog millionaire it is clear that colour and visual effects have been enhanced in post production. The colours of clothing such as women’s sari’s were bright and bold, using colours such as pink, turquoise and yellow to capture the vibrancy of the traditional clothing worn in the Indian community.
The scene begins with clear blue skies and bright surroundings, and even though the action within the scene turns to devastation and trauma the mood and lightening does not alter. Keeping the lightening colourful throughout shows life in the slums is always colourful even though the situations that occur might not always follow.
The transition of Jamal’s flashback starts with a bright lighting as the slums are introduced, but end with a sliding transition into darkness, as the image of Jamal’s mother floating dead in the water is left with the audience. Using dark saturations for the ending of the scene visually shows the dark place Jamal is in at this moment of his life.
In regards to lighting, additional light is used giving focus to the actors, particularly for close ups, which gives full attention to the expressions of the actors. With the colourful contrast surrounding the actors, it could be easy for that to become the main focus and the actors to fall in the background, hence why the additional light is used to ensure they maintain the centre of frame. Visual Texture

Visual texture is particularly important in this scene of Slumdog millionaire as it is the first time the audience are introduced to slums and the storyline in detail. Visual texture helps the audience to visually feel the surroundings and set of the scene.
A visual effect which stands out for me within the scene I analysed was the man being set alight whilst being attacked. This action conveyed the visual texture of the frame as the audience are able to visually feel the heat of the surroundings. This is shown as the heat wave around the man blurs the vision of the brothers; allowing the audience to see the distress they are being exposed to, giving a sense of what the atmosphere in the slums is like.
The texture of the slums surrounding the frames are important when creating visual texture, the dirty water and surroundings of mud and bricks shows it is urban area giving the audience a feel of what a slum withholds. In regards to connection with characters, it conveys their lifestyles, visually showing they have been brought up with little money and living in poor conditions.
A specific use of visual texture which uses a combination of a point of view shot and shadowing is Jamal and Salim running through the slums looking for safety. The brothers run through the darkly lit slums into the light where the police are parked, with symbolism of the police as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. By having just the brothers shadowed in black breaks the original texture used throughout the scene and contrasts with light they are usually shown in. Movement & Rhythm

Throughout the scene there is a fast rhythm conveyed through the choreography of the actors and pace of shots. As the camera follows the movement of the brothers running through the slums the camera is hand held to give the shots character and emphasise the movement of the boys running through.
As the slums have narrow pathways a lot of movement was able to be shot, as the brothers have constant movement as they dodge in out and out of people frantically as they run to safety.
The pace of the rhythm is set at the beginning of the scene as the hand movements of the women washing the clothes is thorough and fast. Showing life in the slums is always hectic.
Other than being visually shown, the rhythm of the scene is conveyed by the use of a fast drumming beat that is played as the boys ran through the slums. The rhythm of the drums creates tension, as the faster the beats the nearer the climax of the attack.
The only point in the scene when rhythm is broken is with the use of the image of Jamal’s mother being struck to death by a pole; which uses a repetition and a slow motion effect. The repetition emphasizes the brutality of the attack, with the use of slow motion as the brothers turn back and look as there mother falls to her death, as reflective to the trauma which is being inflicted on their lives. It also allows more time for the reaction of the boys to be felt by the audience. The moment in which the mother is hit with pole is symbolic of the hit of reality for the brothers. Shots A variety of shots are used throughout the scene, in order to capture every possible action. The scene opens with an establishing shot, using a panning birds eye view showing the slums and the daily activities taking place.
Unlike other conventional ways of filming Danny Boyle breaks out of tradition, following the lead of directors such as Tim Burton by using canted angles within the film. Visually this effect emphasises the sense of disorientation to the subject being shot and gives the scene a change, allowing more engagement with the audience. This works particularly well as the people of the slums run to safety, capturing the hustle of the slums, with the disorientated camera use putting the audience on edge.
By using rack focus in the scene adds a dramatic edge; examples which conveys this are the man being set alight with the brothers out of focus in the background and close ups of the brothers as their expressions towards the trauma is shown. By using rack focus and close ups allows them to become central focus of the frame, giving the effect of zoning out of the chaos they are in.
To show the audience full views of the slums, a combination of panning and wide shots are used. This gives coverage of the slums and the surrounding areas.
Handheld shots within the scene are used as they follow bodies as they fall to their death (from a standing position to the floor); this brings a new perspective to the scene, and is again another way for Danny Boyle to bring a unique way of shooting to the film.
Point of view shots are also included in the scene, causing tension as the audience are put in the characters role and situation. Design & Costume Two elements used in regards to story telling and costume are denote and narrative. The scene uses narrative as the action is located in the single location of the slums, and denote as the set manufactures real life. The place and time is established by the set design and most importantly the costume. The costume which assist the elements mentioned are the use of religious jewelery; the brothers wearing the necklaces convey to the audience their faith and beliefs.
Costume such as the sari’s worn also assist the narrative and denote definitions as they tie with the traditional clothing worn by the Asian community establishing the set and country.
By using actors performing barefoot, visually conveys the brothers lack of wealth and status, showing the type of lifestyle they uphold.
After researching the design and costume theories behind the film it became apparent the costume in Slumdog millionaire had been recognised and had won top honours from the Costume Designers Guild awards. SuttiratLarlarb devised a colour system for the costume of the film with the use of simply one colour; yellow. “When you go to Mumbai, it's every colour in the rainbow and very little neutral colours. So I had to sort of adjust my radar”. Suttirat subtly uses the colour throughout on the character Latika’s costume ensuring the attention is given fully to her in the mist of bold colours. Suttirat describes the colour choice for Latika as "a yellow highlighter through her whole journey”. Mise – en – scene
Analysis of
Slumdog Millionaire By Jerri Howlett Introduction Within this presentation I will be analysing the film Slumdog Millionaire (from 17:11-19.52). My reasons for choosing this particular scene to analyse are because of the award winning use of Mise en scene and it’s crucial contribution to the movement of the storyline. In conclusion, it is clear to see why Danny Boyle has won an array of awards for Slumdog Millionaire, as the use of indepth mise en scene analysed in my presentation demonstrates the creation of the extraordinary piece of cinema. Conclusion
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